U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio stepped up his messaging about the security situation at the U.S./Mexican border, calling it a “terrorist threat” Tuesday.
“President Biden is failing,” Rubio said. “Every day, we see pictures of the crisis on our southern border. Refugee camps, human trafficking, COVID-19 outbreaks, and overwhelmed and under-supported border patrol agents.”
“What we cannot see is how terrorists who hate America are exploiting the chaos. The Biden administration cannot continue to ignore the very real terrorist threat. It is time for President Biden to take the necessary steps to keep our nation safe and secure our southern border.”
The former head of the U.S. Border Patrol cited the “terrorist threat” in a recent interview, apparently spurring Rubio’s use of the phrase to heat up a familiar line of complaint.
In a media release accompanying the statement, Rubio noted that Department of Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas had not answered questions outstanding from August. The Senator wanted to know concrete steps DHS had taken to secure the border amid a summer surge in immigration.
Additionally, Rubio wanted a “written classified report within 120 days that outlines the number of individuals encountered at the southern border with a connection to designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations.”
Like most Republicans railing about the Biden border policy, Rubio has offered a series of sharp rejoinders in recent months as the White House continues to deviate from Trump-era restrictions.
Late last month, the Senator accused Biden of “luring” Haitians to cross the border.
“We could spend an hour here talking about the cascade of calamities and disasters that have all been brought about by this administration, their incompetence, and the wrong decisions that they’ve made,” the Senator told a friendly interviewer in September.
Rubio’s agitation over the porous border matches the mood of state officials, who say issues at the border are an avoidable “manufactured crisis” created by the White House.
“If they end catch and release and they reinstitute ‘Remain in Mexico’ and finish construction of the border wall, guess what, (the) crisis will be ended. People will stop even coming because they know they’re not going to be able to,” DeSantis said on Fox News last week.
The state has taken a number of actions in recent days to counter federal border policy. Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order banning state agencies from facilitating illegal immigration. DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody also announced Florida filed a suit challenging the Biden administration’s “catch and release” policy.
Rubio’s Senate colleague from Florida, Rick Scott, has been unrestrained in his denunciations of Biden’s border policy, meanwhile, blaming “savage cartels” for flooding Florida neighborhoods with deadly fentanyl.
With no change expected in Biden border policy, expect tough talk from roiled Republicans to continue, albeit with little tangible effect in the short term.